Flashback: USA Women's Basketball Team Claims the Bronze Medal, routing Cuba 88-74
With China's surprising 109-70 upset of previously unbeaten Cuba, the USA women had the unenviable task of facing Cuba in the bronze medal game. As had been the two teams track record, the USA-Cuba matchup was a tight affair.
Neither team could gain control of the first half and at half, the two squads retired to their respective locker rooms deadlocked, 44-44.
Cuba edged out to a 59-54 lead in the second half and led 63-60 with 11:07 remaining. However, the USA's pressure defense began to pay dividends, the USA's running game came to life, and the result was a 12-4 U.S. run that lifted the Americans to a 72-67 lead with 6:26 to play.
Leading 75-71 with 5:31 to go, the U.S. closed out the game with a 13-3 spurt to earn an 88-74 victory and the Olympic bronze medal.
Three-time Olympian Theresa Edwards led the U.S. scoring with 18 points, and Clarissa Davis added 14 points and Katrina McClain finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
"Our goal was to try and win the gold medal We fell a little short the other day. But I'm very pleased and very proud of the way our players regrouped and came back. They showed an awful lot of class and an awful lot of pride," said USA coach Theresa Grentz.
"At halftime, I told them it was time to get out there and get it done, and to quit feeling sorry for ourselves because we had a poor night shooting the ball," said Grentz. "I thought one of the keys was that we came down in the second half and were patient. Five or six times we ran our offense and scored in our offensive sets."
"I'm happy to be going home with what we're going home with (bronze medal)," said USA captain Edwards."It's a closeout (of my Olympic career). I looked at the whole game as the last one. I took all the cheers as my last cheers for the USA, and I tried to enjoy it as much as I possibly could. It would have been much, much better--like I said - if we had won the gold medal, but I'm satisfied with this."